RCB Doc 6. FOI Request DoD Submission

Submission from Lieutenant General D.J. Hurley AC, DSC

Vice Chief of the Defence Force

23rd June 2010

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  1. I wish to make the following comment.I served on the first tour from Australia in 1973 and in 74-75 and last time in 76.I was a section commander. Mike Dennis and Robert Cross and others have said it all however I will add my “call a spade a shovel” comments to this. The first Re-action Company from Australia in 1973 was a hastily arranged decision.The Labor Government must have realized that all Friendly Forces were pulling out of Singapore and the RAAF and aircraft were up in Butterworth and the Malay Forces were all fighting the CTS. (2nd emmergency) .This Government was in a hard place, they needed their assets guarded ,but sending Infantry and support troops was against their principles ,owing to thier Vietnan stance. Consequently they sent the Company plus under the guise of a Training Exercise with the Malay Forces.I was on 3 tours and did not train with one malay soldier. To keep us busy and to confirm in a subtle way ,we did our own training by platoons at Paluda near Kota -Tinghe. I cannot remember briefings about the enemy situation at the time ,however the radio news were always telling of contacts and deployments going on in Northern Malaysia all the time. I feel the Commander of the companies were told to play things down a little, however on all tours we carried out reactions to VP(vulnerable points) with tenacity and with loaded weapons and speed.I have no doubt that the goverment of the day placed the Reaction Companies in what could have turned into a situation and without any recogition.ONLY after many years the ASM was issued. There is some information that the Malay Government had awarded the Pinjap Medal for all servicemen/women up to 1975.If this is found to be correct, we have a Medals Honours and Award Section who are protecting this Labor Governments deceit over this matter. To add to the flavour of our service in Butterworth we have Senior Officers and Senior NCOS who denegrate our service in Butterworth mostly because they have all their entittlements.I have all the entittlements myself but I worked hard on my tours and always made my men aware of what could happen any time.In conclusion I believe that this Labor Government are misleading us as is their habit because it runs in their red blood. Bill Parry. 36 Ruby St Mango Hill QLD 4509.

  2. Craig Ellery says

    Yes, it doesn’t look good for the incumbent Labor Govt. to illustrate the subterfuge perpetrated by the Labor Govt. of the early 1970s. Sadly, current and ex-servicing defence personnel are bickering over who should or shouldn’t have a medal and not realising that it is governments that set the principles for the honouring and awarding of medals and other entitlements. Our fight shouldn’t be with ourselves but those that deny defence personnel natural justice.

  3. George Lovett says

    I agree with Craig Ellery comments to the extent that the current labor government would be in a position of embarressment to explain the exposure of Australian troops to a volitile situation in which the host country was at war internally and which included National Servicemen after Whitlam came to power on a platform of abolishing National Service in Dec 72.After Whitlam came to power there were still National Servicemen attached to 6RAR as part of the 28 ANZUK Brigade stationed in Singapore.Some of those rotated through Butterworth as RCB out of Singapore during 1973, its no wonder that it has always been played down as a training excercise.We were all given an option to either jump ship or to complete our time as Nashos, however it does not change the fact that we were exposed like all who served with RCB to a potentially lethal situation.

  4. Michael "Mick" Connolly says

    Winston “Bill” Parry I was in RCB 74 and 75 with 1 RAR not once did either of the tour Rifle Companys (C Coy 1st tour and A Coy 2nd tour) train with the Malaysian Army/Airforce or Navy. We went to Kota Tingi (Palada) for ten days to do some close country training by platoon lots. All QRF was with live ammunition including the delivery of the Malaysia F5s from the USA on Galaxys aircraft, we did platoon QRF for 72hrs all around the perimeter of the airbase with a Malaysian soldier attached to each standing/Listening patrol this was with the standard QRF responsibilities. We all know that the Labor Gov would not have spent a red cent on overseas peace time training exercises (especially for 3 months) unless it was in the interest of the Gov, we to look after our assets material and personnel (RAAF aircraft and members) if it was just training why did they only send Infantry Rifle Companys why not a mix of Arty, Armour, without any Infantry? ROE, live ammunition for training and pigs will fly. Keep up the fight you blokes because this next Lib Gov will do nothing as well.

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